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This volume draws attention to the interdependence of evaluative knowledge and policy making, highlighting the complex interplay between (too often implicit) theoretical assumptions about reality and policies as well, and specific forms of knowledge with their technical devices. It attempts to fill the gap between several disciplinary domains that from different analytic perspectives insist on the topic often obscuring the technical dimension, that is less empirically explored or at worst it is sold off as not substantial. The rationale of this book is to critically examine the logic of reasoning underpinning the adoption of specific evaluative devices outlining how they construct and legitimize interpretations of truth and causal links between behaviour and events, and vice versa how they are effected by them. This kind of analysis is situated within a broader discussion that sketches how evaluation gains visibility in the current policy making climate and which consequences can be observed on the kind of legitimate devices and actors that are admitted into the policy arena and called to use them.
The last part of the volume is devoted to describe the Italian landscape of policy evaluation with the overall purpose to try to explain how endogenousand exogenous factors have affected, and still affect, the contour of evaluation in the national context and what consequences they have, highlighting the reasons that have caused a deficit in the dissemination of evaluation practice.
1. The Challenge of Knowledge Based Policy Making
2. The Renewed Claim towards Experimentalism
3. Performance Indicators as Usable Knowledge for Evaluation
4. The Italian Pathway of Evaluation
5. Some Further Remarks
Dora Gambardella and Rosaria Lumino
Dora Gambardella is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences of University of Naples Federico II. She has a long standing experience in Social research methods and Policy evaluation, with particular regard to social policies and minimum income schemes.
Rosaria Lumino is a Post Doc Research Fellow at the Department of Political Sciences of University of Naples Federico II. She has conducted research and evaluation studies on topics such as: minimum income schemes, youth policies and local welfare systems.